Minal Dakhave Bhosale: Woman Behind India’s First COVID Test

Minal Dakhave Bhonsle is a virologist who now goes down in history as the woman who gives the first coronavirus test kit of India. She is the Chief of R&D at Mylab Discovery Solutions from Pune. Bhonsle has significant expertise in NIV, Pune swine flu outbreak. She operated on swine flu during the 2009 epidemic. In February, when Minal Dakhave Bhonsle was in the last stage of her pregnancy, Bhonsle began working on the coronavirus test kit. It was an emergency she said and put India ahead of her personal needs.

India now has the first effective coronavirus test kit, thanks to the efforts of Minal Dakhave Bhosale. This is a ray of hope, in the present situation.

“Our kit gives the diagnosis in two hours and a half, while the imported test kits require seven hours,” virologist Minal Dakhave Bhosale said. On March 18, at the National Institute of Virology in Pune, she completed the test kits in “record time, ‘just 24 hours before giving birth to her daughter, said the BBC.

It was not only a race against time for Minal Dakhave Bhonsle but also her personal situation. Bhonsle, 9 months pregnant and ready to deliver, had just submitted her report to the required body for approval when she checked in for delivery to a hospital for her baby. Mylab had only started working on the kits in February, and on 18 March, only one day after the announcement by the ICMR authorizing private laboratories to search for COVID-19, Bhonsle was able to send the kit to the NIV and then to the FDA for evaluation.

“It was an emergency, but I took it upon myself as a challenge.  I must serve my nation, ‘she told to BBC.

Good Timing To Make The Kit

India has been blamed lately for not providing a large number of test kits. Just 6.8 people per million were able to get screened which could hide a significant number of cases of COVID-19 across the world.

With 1,3 billion people on lockout, though, these research kits come at a very important moment, as they will now be even more widely available. The imported COVID-19 kits originally cost a staggering Rs 4500, but will now cost just Rs. 1200 and will test up to 100 samples.

Earlier, only state laboratories were allowed to perform the research trials but the government is looking to include more private laboratories. Fifteen private laboratories have also received permission to market research kits from European countries and the US.

Minal Dakhave Bhosale On Healthcare System

Bhosale also talks a lot about the current condition of the country’s healthcare system based on her observations and experiences. India’s slow medical response to COVID-19 also reflects on its weak financing for healthcare and infrastructure, especially in the public sector.

Bhosale claims the proliferation of medical facilities and laboratories in rural areas is important too. This would allow more people to benefit and have more access to it in the future.

Ultimately, the success story of Minal Dhakave Bhosale is not just a shadow-win that COVID-19 has cast in India. It is also the tale of a woman, and a powerful celebration of persistence, perseverance, and loyalty. The tale of helping people in times of great difficulty and personal suffering and making the world a better place.

Also Read: Know The Symptoms And Prevention Of Coronavirus

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